Friday, November 9, 2007

creative intellectual juice

One of AdAge's most emailed stories of the day is It's not about new media, it's about new marketing. I would be curious to know the statistics of the recipients of these emails. It might be fair to guess that the majority is on the client-side; Using the article as leverage to open up the table for conversation about thinking outside the box. The box being one of the many traditional marketing tactics that are now ubiquitous in the mainstream.

Nick Brien, CEO of Universal McCann says the idea of new media is almost irrelevant. My thoughts are when clients ask for something new, they mean to say "something unique." And maybe using this lingo would provide the agency with more creative flexibility. New media = box; something unique = endless possibilities. Add in some planning to give some direction: unique to who, unique where, unique when, and more importantly: what is unique to our target?

Brien supports using media to enhance personality. I like that. It could be thought of in this way: the media department adds personality to the idea, gives it an attitude, gives it a feel, creates a context. I've never thought of personality as context before but it makes perfect sense.

A couple months ago, I posted about planning and its biggest challenge of being up to date. The AdAge article I cited said Today's planning ideas need to stand up to all forms of advertising. Ideas cannot be boxed, should not be boxed. They need to be insightfully strong which will make them inherently unique. But then they're really simple and that's the beautiful thing about the art of planning. It comes down to people and motivations. Brien adds support here: the two greatest motivators are love and fear.

Now go find yourself a thinking partner and get that creative intellectual juice a brewin. Plan on.


mike said...

since he is my CEO I should be nice. But an easy way to look at what Nick Brien is saying is. Its no longer just what you say that matters... but how you behave.
This includes what you say and how you say it... but actions speak louder than words.
Media is now helping to show consumers how a brand wants to act. Be it openning their doors slightly like dell with their blog and ideastorm sites or nikeplus. These brands are using media to behave in a certain way. Not just say it like the old way.
Thats new marketing... brands behave like people do... its their actions we watch. That way we can distinguish which ones we like and when we want to spend time with them. Just like we do with friends

erin said...

Yay, brand friends. :)

Thanks for the note mike. I'm glad I didn't rip on Nick since he's your head bossman.

Actions do speak louder than words, and thanks to the internet, brands are a lot more transparent than they've ever been. We need to hold them accountable.

I like thinking about brands behaving like people. Plus it seems like easy lingo that a client should understand. Agency peeps should get it but the client might be harder to persuade that his big bad bold company should be on the same plane as consumers. Do you agree?

sk said...

Like your spin on personalty as context better than Brien's formulation. (media as source of personality? eh. Up to a point).. On the subject of boxes, however, think they aren't all bad. Organizational, budget and business realities can be good and helpful, especially when it comes to prioritizing ideas and projects. Actions, may indeed speak louder than words, but they can be expensive and unpredictable, which can make them very bad investments indeed. Most CMO jobs are hanging by a thread. Our jobs as planners--certainly senior ones-- isn't just to open their minds but give them confidence they are making good choices. There are often lots of cool ideas floating around, but only a couple that really makes sense for the business and brand goals.

erin said...

Scott - I agree with you because of something a marketer friend said the other day: "There's a big difference between growing and protecting what you already have."

Planning is a lot about support. I'm still trying to find a balance between "wanting to change things for innovation's sake" and "supporting the path that's been deeply carved."

The latter being what I've said is "box thinking." Budgets are definitely a hurdle to cross when pushing for innovation. I think Planners come up with a lot of smart ideas, and I'm just a little sad to see them go by the wayside because a budget is too small. I guess that's why we hold onto to our notebooks full of ideas. For the next one...with a budget to take a chance. :)